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WhitbeckBennett opens Wilmington office

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WILMINGTON – WhitbeckBennett, a national family law firm specializing in family, special education, and mental health law, is joining the growing number of out-of-state firms opening Delaware offices after recruiting well-known local lawyer Kathryn Laffey as a managing partner.

Kathryn Laffey

By joining the umbrella of the Virginia-headquartered WhitbeckBennett on Nov. 1, Laffey leaves a nearly 35-year run at her practice, Kelleher & Laffey. The new WhitbeckBennett office remains at 1509 Gilpin Ave.

“I can’t think of a better way to start our Delaware practice than to join forces with Kathy. She is among the most highly regarded lawyers in the state and an excellent advocate for her family law clients,” said John Whitbeck, managing partner at WhitbeckBennett, in a statement announcing the move. “It’s an honor to have her part of the team.”

Laffey specializes in all areas of Family Court practice, including divorce, custody and visitation, adoption, guardianship, termination of parental rights, support, and protection from abuse. She is also a trained family law mediator and parenting coordinator.

Laffey was appointed by then-Gov. Tom Carper to the Delaware Commission for Women in 1995 and served as chair of the commission from January 1998 to March 2002. She has also been active in the Delaware State Bar Association on many committees and served as chair of the Family Law Section and vice-chair of the Alternate Dispute Resolution Section. Laffey was one of the first attorneys mediating divorce and custody matters in the state since receiving training in 1992 and is the director of Family Mediation Services, an alternative to the adversarial divorce court system.

“Heading down the final stretch of my 38-year family law career, most in a small or solo firm, I am thrilled to join the firm of WhitbeckBennett,” Laffey said in a statement. “The WB team will support me with up-to-date technology and administrative services and allow me to focus on our commitment to provide the highest level of service to our clients who are often going through the most difficult times in their lives.”

WhitbeckBennett joins Florida-based Saxena White P.A., New Jersey-based Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, Los Angeles-based Lewis Brisbois, and Boston-based Block & Leviton LLP in opening Wilmington offices this year.

By Jacob Owens

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